National Ag News for October 14, 2023

Ag Committee Leaders Agree on One-Year Farm Bill Extension

Leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees came to an agreement on extending the lifespan of the 2018 Farm Bill by one year. The agreement came with the release of a House Republican proposal funding USDA operations through January 19. A 32-page continuing resolution contained 17 pages on farm bill extension and provided some funding for small-ticket programs that had run out, such as feral swine eradication. Dairy subsidies would be extended through December 31, 2024, to avert a looming dairy cliff on January 1. Leaders from both ag committees say the extension “in no way” substitutes in place of a five-year farm bill. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson revealed a two-part funding package that would provide money for some federal operations, including USDA, for two months and through February 2 for the rest of government. The extension depends on House, Senate, and White House agreement on the CR.


FAO Predicts Decline International Foodstuffs Trade

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization predicts a declining international trade in foodstuffs for multiple reasons. While the organization’s latest forecasts point to favorable production outlooks for most basic foodstuffs, global food production systems remain vulnerable to several risks. Those challenges include extreme weather events, rising geopolitical tensions, and policy changes that could potentially tip the delicate supply-demand balances and dampen prospects for international trade in food commodities and global food security. The global food import bill is forecast to reach a new high of $2 trillion in 2023. High-income and upper-middle-class countries are expected to lead the increase. Other challenges include the cost of shipping those foodstuffs. Dry bulk freight costs across the grains and oilseeds routes mostly edged higher during the six months leading up to October 2023 but remained well below last year’s levels. However, robust demand has led to a recent rebound in freight rates.


Hearing on Carbon-Capture Pipeline Ends in Iowa

Summit Carbon Solutions presented a request to Iowa regulators to build a $5.5 billion carbon capture pipeline. Local reports say Iowa regulators recently concluded a hearing on the subject. However, deciding whether the company should get a construction permit and eminent domain powers to get land for the pipeline could take many months. The Sierra Club’s Iowa Chapter opposes the project. Sierra’s attorney says regulators likely won’t issue a decision until March or April. That allows enough time needed to file legal documents and responses. Summit’s pipeline would also run through South Dakota and into Minnesota and Nebraska. The company says the pipeline is critical to helping ethanol remain marketable as the nation seeks to lower its greenhouse gas emissions. Iowa residents are concerned about safety and property rights. Summit says it has agreements in place with 75 percent of the affected landowners, and the project will exceed federal safety standards.


FFA, 4-H Members Admitted Free to NCBA Trade Show

The next generation of agricultural leaders are invited to attend the NCBA Trade Show at CattleCon24 for free on Friday, February 2. FFA and 4-H members can get that free admission on Next Gen Ag FFA & 4-H Day, which will include a variety of events and activities for youth and families. Courtesy of Culver’s, the first 250 FFA members to register will receive complimentary Friday NCBA trade show admission. Nationwide is providing complimentary Friday NCBA Trade Show admission to the first 250 4-H members who register. Trade Show attendees can explore more than eight acres of displays and exhibitors offering the latest advancements in equipment, technology, and feed supplements. To get the free Friday NCBA Trade Show registration, FFA members must use the code FFACULVERS, and 4-H members, 4HNW. A variety of other registration options are available. For more information and to register and reserve housing, go to


U.S. Reducing Beef Exports as Herd Shrinks

The nation’s ranchers slashed the U.S. cattle herd to its lowest level in decades. As a result, the U.S. is importing record amounts of beef this year and exporting much less. The steep drop in cattle numbers has led to significantly higher beef prices. Reuters says those high prices make companies look to import cheaper beef and discourage American beef purchases by buyers like China, Japan, and Egypt. The USDA expects the U.S. to drop to fourth in the rankings for the largest beef and veal exporters, down from number two last year. America’s beef exports are projected to sink 14 percent from 2022 to three billion pounds, the lowest level since COVID slowed meat processing and international trading in 2020. USDA expects American beef production to decline further in 2024 due to tight cattle supplies, and beef exports are forecast to hit an eight-year low of 2.8 billion pounds.


Ag Export Values Dropped in FY 2023

Agricultural export values in fiscal year 2023 that ran through September 30 declined while imports narrowly increased. Agricultural product values from October 2022 through the end of September were reported to be $178.7 billion, down from $196.1 billion a year earlier. A USDA report last week said import values rose 0.6 percent to $195.4 billion. Corn exports were the second-biggest decliner behind only vegetable oils with the value falling 32 percent to $13.1 billion. Cotton fell 28 percent, wheat values were down 21 percent, and soybeans dropped two percent year-over-year. The agency says the volume of corn exports dropped 32 percent, wheat shipments slipped 14 percent, and soybeans declined seven percent. Mexico was the biggest buyer of U.S. corn by volume during the fiscal year, purchasing 16.5 million metric tons of the grain, a narrow drop compared to the previous year. China bought the most beans, and Mexico the most wheat.


By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.